Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By The Bookshelf Muse
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Conflict Thesaurus Entry: Being Blackmailed

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Conflict is very often the magic sauce for generating tension and turning a ho-hum story into one that rivets readers. As such, every scene should contain a struggle of some kind. Maybe it’s an internal tug-of-war having to do with difficult decisions, morals, or temptations. Or it possibly could come from an external source—other characters, unfortunate circumstances, or the force of nature itself.

It’s our hope that this thesaurus will help you come up with meaningful and fitting conflict options for your stories. Think about what your character wants and how best to block them, then choose a source of conflict that will ramp up the tension in each scene.

Conflict: Being Blackmailed

Category: Power struggles, increased pressure and ticking clocks, failures and mistakes, relationship friction, duty and responsibilities, moral dilemmas and temptation, losing an advantage, loss of control, ego, no-win situations, miscellaneous challenges

Blackmail occurs when one party demands compensation of some kind in return for not revealing potentially damaging (true or false) information about the victim. The possibilities for a blackmail scenario are virtually limitless when you consider the many secrets a victim may not want revealed combined with the demands the blackmailer could make. Below are a few brainstorming options to get the wheels turning:

Secrets about the victim that a blackmailer could threaten to reveal:
An affair
A hit and run accident from the past
A murder
A crime committed by their child
Damaging correspondence between the victim and another party
Information about a loved one that would be considered taboo in that time period or setting (a mental disorder, their sexual orientation, attending Communist meetings in the 1940s, etc.)
Racist comments
Accusations that were silenced or covered up
Nepotism in high places
Proof of lies
Sexual inappropriateness

In return for the blackmailer’s silence, they may demand…
Valuable items
Sexual favors
Verbal support for them or their cause
A coveted job for an ally
A scholarship or acceptance to a prestigious school for their child
That their legislation, permitting, or paperwork be pushed through
That the victim turn a blind eye to the blackmailer’s criminal behavior
The victim remove him or herself from an influential position

Minor Complications:
Lost sleep from worrying that the secret will get out
Inability to focus on work or school
Lying to many people and losing track of what has been said to whom
Having to come up with cover stories (for who the blackmailer is, where the character disappeared to for the past three hours, etc.)
Disagreeing with a confidante about what course of action should be taken
Having to cover when friends notice a change in the victim’s appearance (rapid weight loss, fatigue, lack of hygiene, etc.)

Potentially Disastrous Results:
The secret (real or fabricated) getting out
The blackmailer coming back and demanding more
Giving in to a demand that requires the victim to break the law or become complicit in some way
Damaged relationships with loved ones when they discover the secret
Loved ones being threatened
Loved ones being hurt when the blackmailer wants to send a message
The victim’s children being bullied when the secret is revealed
Bankrupting oneself to pay off the blackmailer
Not giving in to demands because the accusation isn’t true, and not being believed
Ulcers, high blood pressure, a heart attack, or other serious health issues
Becoming involved in a criminal investigation because of one’s involvement with the blackmailer
Sacrificing a career, marriage, or other valuable commodity to keep the secret private

Possible Internal Struggles (Inner Conflict):
Being paralyzed with indecision about what to do
Constantly worrying over the situation
Imagining that other people know or suspect what’s going on
Wanting to confide in loved ones but needing to lie to protect them
Feeling shame or self-loathing over the transgressions from the past one is being blackmailed for
The victim contemplating taking the blackmailer out to remove the threat

People Who Could Be Negatively Affected: The victim’s family, innocent bystanders, people involved in the past transgression

Resulting Emotions: Anger, anguish, anxiety, apprehension, denial, depressed, despair, desperation, determination, devastation, dread, fear, guilt, hatred, horror, intimidated, overwhelmed, panic, paranoia, powerlessness, rage, regret, remorse, resentment, self-loathing, self-pity, shame, shock, tormented, vengeful, vulnerability, worry, worthlessness

Personality Flaws that May Make the Situation Worse: Apathetic, defensive, impulsive, indecisive, nervous, paranoid, pessimistic, reckless, self-destructive, uncooperative, vindictive, worrywart 

Positive Outcomes: 
Coming clean about something that has been weighing on the victim’s mind for years
Finally taking responsibility for one’s actions
Confiding in someone and seeing the relationship grow stronger through the trial
Taking charge of the situation instead of always letting others dictate the character’s choices
The victim growing in confidence when they realize they have done the right thing

If you’re interested in other conflict options, you can find them here.

Need More Descriptive Help?

While this conflict thesaurus is still being developed, the rest of our descriptive collection (15 unique thesauri and growing) is available at our main site, One Stop for Writers

If you like, swing by and check out the video walkthrough, and then give our Free Trial a spin.

The post Conflict Thesaurus Entry: Being Blackmailed appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®.

The Bookshelf Muse is a hub for writers, educators and anyone with a love for the written word. Featuring Thesaurus Collections that encourage stronger descriptive skills, this award-winning blog will help writers hone their craft and take their writing to the next level.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Load more ...




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.